5K race organizers hope to set good example for Alle-Kiski Valley
Organizers want the Heritage Hospice 5K on Saturday to be an example of how businesses, school districts and the public can join together to benefit the community.
“When we started, we wanted to have a company that was involved in the community,” said Mike Vasil, chief financial officer of the 3-year-old New Kensington hospice he owns with his twin brother, Dr. Matt Vasil.
The hospice started organizing a summer softball tournament that supports local ambulance companies, but they wanted to do more.
Tami Kelly, the hospice's director of support services and a member of the Burrell School Board, suggested a 5K run-walk event that would raise money for schools.
“That was about the same time the school funding got cut, which is at the top of my mind from school board,” Kelly said. “It was just sort of the perfect storm of events.”
With Heritage drawing employees and patients from both the Burrell and New Ken-Arnold communities, they opted to split the proceeds between the school districts.
To add a level of competition to the event, participants can vote for the school district they want to receive the bulk of donations. The proceeds will be split 70-30 in favor of the district with the most votes.
With over 60 runners and a few hundred total participants during last fall's inaugural race, the event raised about $3,000.
“Burrell won last year, so Valley this year is working hard to beat that,” Kelly said.
Burrell High School Principal John Boylan said last year's money was put toward upgrades of the high school auditorium's sound system since the facility benefits a lot of students and organizations.
This year, Boylan said money will be used for student recognition, particularly the year-end scholars ceremony.
Jon Banko, Valley High School's principal, said New Ken-Arnold's share will be used for a similar purpose.
Kelly said event organizers leave it up to the districts to distribute the funds — as long as the money benefits students in an area other than athletics.
Student recognition “is something that unfortunately gets put lower on the priority list when funds are low,” she said.
Participants can buy votes for 25 cents each at the event.
Kelly said Northmoreland Park in Allegheny Township was the site of last year's event.
“It was very nice — it's beautiful to walk around the lake,” Kelly said. “But we wanted to bring it closer to the area.”
The 18th Street ball fields in Arnold will be the starting point of this year's race plus the site of the family walk, children's activities, music, a basket auction and concessions.
The 5K (3.1-mile) course will loop through the flats of Arnold and New Kensington and end at the park.
“It's a nice course to run. It's nice and flat,” Banko said. “(Turnout) was really nice last year and it wasn't in either district. I'm hoping this year because it's in town, we'll have a lot of people who will come.”
In addition to running the race, a lot of students from both districts help at the event, Boylan said.
“It's a fun day,” Boylan said. “The intention is for that to grow each year.”
Mike Vasil said they hope to make the 5K race an annual event and possibly move it to different locations within the districts' communities each year.
“We definitely want to raise money for the districts,” Kelly said.
“But we also want to have something for the community to enjoy. It's really neat to see the school districts work together.”
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kiski River search finds kayak but no kayaker
- Tarentum teen to be tried as an adult in New Year’s shooting
- Police: Man riding bike in New Kensington strikes truck, dies
- Man uninjured after leap from Hulton Bridge
- 24 teachers put on New Kensington-Arnold School District furlough list
- Apollo-Ridge students connect world, science
- Break-ins reported in Oakmont
- New Kensington shooting victim’s condition improves
- Pyrotechnics to be used in TV filming in New Kensington
- ‘Defective component’ shuts down part of new ATI Harrison mill
- Burrell Township rollover wreck kills Parks man